Tag Archives: review

A Music Review

5 Sep

Music review from Trying to be Different magazine:

Corporate Casual Racism by Tumbleweed Jebediah ft. jim.

In the 1890’s, ragtime hit its apex of popularity, moving from shadowy Red Light districts into mainstream success, echoing from wax cylinders and player pianos everywhere. On the eve of the Great War, however, the syncopated rhythms ceased to pulse on, and the genre devolved into obscurity, then nonexistence, with only a select few nursing homes offering live shows. Luckily, this trend was re-reouted in the late 1990’s in the haberdashery-by-day/pansexual-bazaar-by-nights of rural Utah, where curious youth found ragtime’s allure once again.

Revivalist ragtime’s messiah, nonagenarian Tumbleweed Jebediah, has emerged from the studio with his new cassette, Corporate Casual Racism. The album is chock full of Jebediah’s signature ragged timing, spotty musicianship, and inattention to detail, a rawness that has come to define his recent creations. The dancy, festive sound makes it clear: Tumbleweed Jebediah’s passion is running just as strong as his pacemaker.

The real eye-catcher on this record (besides the Sunday school unfriendly cover art) is the guest appearance by jim., punk’s genderless deity of mayhem. Though the collaboration may seem bizarre, the music proves this is a match made in heaven, as jim.’s animal, piercing vocals ride atop Jebediah’s arthritis-hankered ivory tickling. jim.’s creative spirit spices up the traditional ragtime flavors, offering chaotic synths and crunchy, sharp textures.

It is said this album represents ragtime’s role in the modern cultural conscience, and the theme is hammered home on tracks like “Ragtime’s Gone – Thanks, Obama”, which features a third-grader on the recorder, and “I Took a Dump on a Piano”, which includes a ten minute recording of Tumbleweed Jebediah’s bathroom break during the session.

Corporate Casual Racism will be on store shelves September 16th, and off them within the week.

Yelp Review: Sun ‘n’ Sand Tiki Bar

20 Feb

1/5 Stars

When Sun ‘n’ Sand opened last year, I was excited about having a bar right on the beach in West Palm. I went on my day off on Saturday and this was my experience:

I showed up around 6, and found a seat at the bar. The place had a stale odor, like a combo of low tide and spray tanner. I waited patiently for a waitress, but none came to take my order. I decided to pass the time by making small talk with the other customers; this proved one of the gravest decisions I’ve ever made. I tried to start a conversation with the woman to my left. She proceeded to explain to me how she had purchased a swimsuit that was three sizes too small, but kept it anyway because it showcased her “lovely lady lumps”. I immediately turned away, but she rambled on, explaining how one lump was suspicious and required medical attention. I moved to a different seat when she asked if I had any odd lumps or bumps that she could see.

I stood up to find the manager so I could ask for a beverage, but he was nowhere to be found. I saw what appeared to be the owner singing a Celine Dion medley into a beer can, intermittently shouting that he was the “Karaoke King”. His inebriation became obvious when he attempted to moonwalk and tumbled backwards, smashing his head into a stormdrain. He did not get up immediately, but I did not go to his rescue because I figured his loss might be better for the human race as a whole in the long run. The owner’s drinking buddy, an elderly man in an ill-fitting leprechaun costume (I went to the bar in early February) laughed so hard at his friend’s fall that he spilled his piña colada in his beard. Instead of cleaning himself up, the man climbed on the bar and urged all other patrons to lick the beverage from his facial hair. The only person to take him up on the offer was the owner, who at this point inexplicably rose from his drunken stupor to drink a watery piña colada from his friend’s whiskers. Between the noisy slurps, the owner announced his official change in title from “Karaoke King” to “The Human Beard Vacuum”. At that point, the owner slipped again, marking his second spectacular tumble in under an hour, and resumed his position slumped against the wall.

As I made my way towards the exit, a man who I presumed to be the manager grabbed me by the arm and urged me to have a bite to eat on the house. I imagine the manager was hoping to avoid receiving negative feedback on the internet. Thinking that the bar couldn’t possibly make a worse impression, I reluctantly agreed to try some grub. After a cursory glance at the menu, I settled on the Zesty Tropical Chili. The food arrived thirty-five minutes later, although the time passed quickly to the tune of a surprisingly accurate version of Cats, with lump lady and the leprechaun guy assuming the lead roles. The chili came tepid, and its odorous nature literally made my eyes water. I stirred the contents, where upon I discovered a large mass floating in my soup. I scooped it out, and found it out to be a black du-rag, with the word “spicy” bedazzled on. With so much time already invested in the Sun ‘n’ Sand Tiki Bar, I almost felt it would have all been for nothing had I not even tried the food. Needless to say, I couldn’t actually bring myself to taste an iota of the stuff.

Lacking the heart to tell the manager about the du-rag or any other facet of my experience, so I simply left, never looking back. I immediately set a course for the local clinic, where I had a smattering of medical tests performed to isolate any diseases I may have picked up during my stay, and I encourage all prior customers of the Sun ‘n’ Sand to do the same. In summation, the worst bar I’ve ever seen. It is an embarrassment to the management, the West Palm Beach health department, and the entire state of Florida.

Underground Music Review

1 Jan

A-Train Tropik Beatz – 1/1/13 

As ordinary folks dragged their feet to work through a holiday hangover, their New Year’s Day commute was ignited by a musical ambush, courtesy of A-Train Tropik Beatz. Riders of the A train subway have experienced the presence of this all-male percussion trio on-and-off for the last two decades, yet each concert has its own feel and flair. This performance was highly unusual in that it lacked the presence of the band’s groupies, who cruise the subway seeking the roaming band’s good vibes. For this reviewer, there’s nothing quite like the look on the face of a subway bongo virgin being aurally enlightened for the first time.

The band kicked off the show with the feel-good original, “Kingston of Queens”. The easy tempo and off-beat rhythms piqued ears across the car and foreshadowed the mood of the performance. The boys continued with the romantic fan-favorite, “Dreadlock and Key”. The energy and aura surrounding frontman and bongoist Tommy Bahama were downright groovy, and it seemed to everyone on the train as if he were crooning to them directly. Next, the tempo quickened for the Christmas classic, “Coal Runnings”. There was so much spirit, soloist Wiggles St. Nick looked as jolly as his bearded namesake. The mood stayed festive with a fast rendition of “Where the Ganja Grows Like Sugarcane”, a cheerful tune that carried with it the collective hope of a New Year. Unfortunately, the performance was somewhat soured by a disinterested solo by congaist Ricky “The Pipe” Pipers. He stepped out towards the end of the song, but it just seemed like his head wasn’t in the game; perhaps he left it at a New Year’s Eve party the night before. The band lived up to their sterling reputation yesterday with a positively electric holiday show. The group was on the A train, but The Pipe gets at most a C+.

The Oakville Middle School Journal: Arts Review

8 Apr

The drama department will be performing their new play, Romeo and Juliet, this weekend for the entire town. This will be their first play of the school year.

Being a self-appointed connoisseur of middle school theater, I was very eager to see the advance press screening of this show. I even got to leave homeroom fifteen minutes early to go see it. Unfortunately, there was a four-alarm fire on the other side of town, meaning all newspapers, besides the Journal, were unable to attend the press screening.

The scenery, hand-painted by Ms. Rosnan and her after-school art club, looked really nice, but they weren’t quite dry and added an unusual runny quality to the play. The orchestra will be playing the score live this weekend, but their services were unavailable at the early showing, so the music was played on cassette.

Brad Wellesly and Sarah Green had the lead roles, and demonstrated themselves as master thespians. Their love story blossomed wonderfully during the twelve minute preview, and their emotion was remarkably realistic. I wish to congratulate whoever did the make-up for concealing Brad’s acne. It was almost unnoticeable. The costumes were spectacular to say the least, and the cast looked authentic to the period.

Due to an ever-tightening budget for the visual arts department at Oakville, parents of students volunteered to help out planning and producing Romeo and Juliet, as usual.  I got an exclusive chat with Mr. Spirelli, seventh grader Jake’s dad, who directed the play.

“We wanted to capture the majesty of the time period that is conveyed in the original production. Having spent three weeks as a dancer in an off-Broadway version of Fiddler, I tried my hardest to bring my experience and intimate knowledge of the theater to this play,” he said to me back stage.

For all those interested in seeing this production, it will be showing on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. both days. Refreshments will be available for purchase, and I personally recommend the Twizzlers or Mrs. Green’s cupcakes.

– Melvin Roberts

Arts Review

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